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47

The worry here is that there is blackmail material. It's basically the same reason why homosexuals were barred from security clearances for many years. If a foreign power finds out that you have a secret that could be revealed to your detriment, then it would be possible that you would comply with their request rather than allow the secret to be released....


34

In the U.S. Constitution, Article 3 Section 3 reads: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. and in federal law ...


26

Well, Congress was notified of the impending raid, but by the CIA, and apparently without White House permission. The DOJ for example (including the AG) was not notified until after the fact. Four CIA and Pentagon lawyers were basically the legal team consulted beforehand, and they advised not notifying Congress of the pending/ongoing operation. But it ...


17

It's not just a blackmail issue as Brythan said. Personal secrets can compromise the president in other ways, without a direct blackmail threat. For example, a president trying to avoid the appearance of collusion with a foreign government might avoid making certain foreign policy decisions that would be beneficial to the United States. A president trying to ...


11

Treason is not the right word for this situation, unless the alleged deal involves either an effort to enlist help in a war against the US or to provide aid to enemies of the US. Treason is one of the few crimes defined in the US Constitution, and it is covered in Article 3, Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War ...


10

The United States does allow for "Citizen's Arrest" in which a citizen is allowed to detain a person for unlawful or disruptive actions, for transfer to proper law enforcement agents to handle the case. States may further restrict Citizens Arrests, and thus, codify laws as to under what circumstances they will be allowed (Usually they include arrests for ...


9

Yes, it seems that the author of the article is just completely incorrect, as the Obama administration produced a national security strategy in 2010 and 2015. However, we can't say whether or not they're lying, because it's possible they didn't do any basic research and thus aren't intentionally making a false statement. National Security Strategies: The ...


9

(Sources for the below are the fact sheets for Trump's 2017 and Obama's 2015 National Security strategies) A few major differences: Trump labels China and Russia as "Revisionist powers...that use technology, propaganda, and coercion to shape a world antithetical to our interests and values" -Trump Though while this much more antagonistic, Obama made ...


7

In principle, perhaps, though it seems it would likely require an executive order. In practice, it would be an immense violation of longstanding protocol, and in particular if the congressperson was on any committee with a professional interest in the material (including oversight materials) then it would likely be a violation of the constitutional ...


7

As of 10/1/2016, 4,080,726 people had security clearance either as a contractor or directly employed by the government. We don't calculate revocations by seniority level, but as of 2016, security revocations were only due to: 1. periodic reinvestigations, 2. other revocations for cause. Of those that had clearance and were subject to an investigation, ...


7

Barack Obama kept a Blackberry for almost his entire presidency. He "upgraded" in 2016, as mentioned in the The Verge. Obama's retention of a personal cell phone was against the advice of the Secret Service, as told in the New York Times (paywalled/limited). The Secret Service reports to the president (albeit indirectly through the Secretary of Homeland ...


6

"I am interested in weighing whether Trump's recent actions are unusual, or if they are merely getting more attention than such actions typically receive" Addressing this part of the question, since the initial formulation asking "how many" is largely unanswerable, and since this particular approach has never, ever been used before in U.S. history. ...


4

Depends on the country and the official. In Germany, the federal president, federal chancellor, federal cabinet secretaries, state prime ministers, and some state cabinet secretaries routinely get bodyguards. Those at the federal level come from the federal police, those at the state level come from the state police. Other officials including members of ...


4

If the Secret Service deems it necessary for a President's personal protection (as in "omg, there is a bomb in this phone!"), then the Secret Service can take it. A President cannot decline the Secret Service's protection (by law). How far this concept extends is probably negotiable.


4

On top of the answer by Matt, it seems to me there is one additional reason: Money laundering. It's an open secret that a lot of these arms trade use very opaque pricing and payment scheme. Lots of room for paying off cronies (both abroad and local) and 'renting' influence. Even in very dysfunctional countries like those in the gulf the ruling tribe does ...


4

Not only. They have three reasons to buy weapons. "Influencing" / bribing sellers. Yes, that's quite true for some of their purchases (the most expensive of them). Actual security reasons. Note that (1) and (2) can go together at the same time, as for aforementioned S-400, Saudi Arabia really wanted both "to influence" Russia, and to strengthen own air-...


4

"Three Russian newspapers publish identical front page headlines to protest detention of investigative journalist" This was back in June 2019, in protest of the handling of Ivan Golunov, a 36-year-old journalist known for exposing corruption among Moscow city officials, who was detained by police and accused of serious drug offences.


4

Well, journalism is a job like any other and at least in Europe every one has the right to strike. In Italy is quite common, and it can result in newspapers not being printed at all, news broadcasts not being broadcasted or being reduced to a 5 minutes thing, and websites not being updated. It's hard to come up a specific source for it, and even more if you ...


4

According to Wikipedia; The use of such names was originally for security purposes and dates to a time when sensitive electronic communications were not routinely encrypted; today, the names simply serve for purposes of brevity, clarity, and tradition. As @o.m. pointed out in a comment, there can be more than one family member with the same name, as was ...


4

This might depend a bit on what you think qualifies. Here are three incidents I could quickly find that are similar, but have some notable differences. There was an alleged leak of an Obama/Netanyahu transcript in Israeli media, though official word from the Whitehouse and Netanyahu's government were that it was completely fabricated. Some conversations of ...


2

According to the Washington Post: Obama called Bush and former president Bill Clinton, as well as senior congressional leaders, before announcing bin Laden’s death to the nation. This would suggest that Congress was not informed in advance of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.


2

The first dates I saw that were redacted were the "Declassify On:" dates, which is the set time in the future when the document in full must be declassified unless a waiver is sought. By default, this is 10 years after origination of the document (let's say we write a document on date of this answers' post, 10/16/18. By default, we can classify this until ...


1

Europe is a very diverse place with countries of various sizes and the answer depends very much on the country. The UK certainly has a different level of protection as, say, Austria. In fact, I've personally met the president of Austria at a ball, and there was nobody who seemed to be a bodyguard in sight, and no special security checks at the entrance, ...


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